(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) On Wednesday, First Liberty Institute General Counsel Mike Berry participated in the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Countering Extremism Working Group (CEWG). Berry, a former active-duty Marine Corps officer, told PJ Media that the meeting confirmed some of the fears he had expressed in March, specifically about how the military’s crackdown on “extremism” threatens service members’ free speech.
Back in March, Berry testified that “those who would use, threaten, or advocate violence to accomplish their [political] objectives” should have no place in the ranks. Yet he also insisted, “We should reject any attempt to weaponize anti-extremism efforts against classes of people simply because those in authority disapprove of them.”
PJ Media asked Berry if “any of the discussions confirm” the fears he expressed in March.
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“Yes, specifically I am concerned by the DOD’s intent to monitor service members’ social media to identify extremism,” the ex-Marine said. “Multiple groups expressed concern about whether and how DOD will balance First Amendment rights with efforts to combat extremism.”
Various training materials used for the military-wide “stand down” to combat “extremism” issued strict warnings about social media posts.“Do not post, […]